Our resident expert Stephen Rigden, pictured below, answers your queries.
From Derrick Bailey:
‘I have been trying to find a member of my family: Lettisha or Letitie Bailey who lived in Kintbury, Berkshire. She was born in 1781 and got married in 1799 to Robert Bailey. I haven’t been able to find their family or when she died. Can you help please?’
It looks to me as though one part of your question can be answered swiftly. Lettisha Bailey was resident in Kintbury, Berkshire on the 1841 census, but had disappeared by the 1851 census, at which point her spouse Robert is described as a widower (and is still living in Kintbury). Lettisha, therefore, died between these two dates.
If you search the death indexes for England and Wales from 1841 to 1851, there is an entry for a Letitia Bailey in September quarter 1848. This death was registered in Hungerford, the registration district which includes Kintbury. The death index does not show ages until 1866; however, I think it highly likely that this is the correct entry. The death certificate itself will give you the age at death, as well as (presumably) describing her as the wife of Robert and giving her address, the cause of death etc.
Alternatively, if you believe the family were Church of England, you could take a look at the burial register for Kintbury, which is held at Berkshire Record Office in Reading under archival reference D/P78. See the Record Office’s exact location in town here. The burial register might give you slightly less information than a death certificate, but it should contain sufficient information to make possible a positive identification.
If you have not previously seen the family’s 1841 and 1851 census returns, they can be found under the following references, searchable from the census reference search on findmypast.co.uk:
- 1841 census: HO107 piece 21 folio 13/10 page 15
- 1851 census: HO107 piece 1686 folio 60 page 12
The only child still resident in the family home in these two census years is the daughter Louisa. She was born before civil registration, circa 1808/09, in Kintbury. My recommendation is that you spend some more time at the Berks Record Office, looking for her baptism around that date in the register for Kintbury. Next, go to the marriage register for Robert Bailey’s marriage to Letitia Harrison on 31 August 1799 and then work between the date of their marriage and the date of Louisa’s baptism to find the births/baptisms of other children of the marriage (you could also look for additional children born after Louisa). That should keep you busy for a while!
I noticed from the 1851 census that Robert Bailey was born in Avebury, Wiltshire. The 1841 census, however, has a ‘Y’ against Lettisha, meaning she was born in county (in Berks not Wilts). Hopefully, therefore, they did indeed marry and have all their children in Kintbury and not elsewhere.
If you are unable to get to Reading for any reason, it would be possible to hire a professional researcher, or probably the archivist, to undertake paid searches for you.
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